Former Irish Ambassador to UK and US among speakers at Liverpool Hope’s Ireland ’75 Conference

Liverpool Hope University is set to host an event honouring the 75th anniversary of Ireland formally becoming a republic.

Republic 75 will mark the UK parliament’s passing of the Ireland Act on 18th April 1949, when the British government legally recognised that Ireland was an independent state, devolved from the monarchy and no longer a member of the Commonwealth.

The conference, which is the only conference in the UK or Ireland marking the anniversary, will focus on the historical, cultural, legal and political significance of this act, as well of the status of Ireland today and its relationship with Britain and the wider world.

It is being sponsored by Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and features an impressive line-up of academics, diplomats and politicians.

This includes Daniel Mulhall, the former Irish Ambassador to the UK and the United States, and Sarah Mangan, Consul General of Ireland for the North of England, with responsibilities for strengthening Ireland’s relationship with the region. Conor McGinn, Labour MP for St Helens North and a County Armagh native will also be in attendance.

Mulhall will reflect on his 44-years serving the Republic of Ireland when he delivers the keynote address. Academics specialising in Irish history will also deliver a number of talks exploring how the British Labour Party responded to the formation of the Republic, how it was covered in caricature and culture, and the legal and political implications of this historic event.

Bryce Evans, Professor of Modern World History at Liverpool Hope University and conference organiser, said: “The Ireland Act of 1949 was the culmination of Ireland’s struggle for independence and a landmark moment in British and Irish history.

“The constitutional arrangement that currently exists between Britain and Ireland began on this day and, in a political and legal sense, it marked the beginning of the Republic of Ireland we know today.

“Given Liverpool’s historical connection to Ireland, it is fitting that we can remember the anniversary by hosting a conference here in the city.

“We want it to be accessible for everyone, so this isn’t your traditional academic conference. It has been designed so that anyone with an interest in Irish history, or anyone of Irish descent who may wish to learn more about their heritage, can enjoy it.”

Republic 75 takes place between 11am-5pm on Thursday 18th April in the Eden Arbour Room at Liverpool Hope University’s Hope Park campus (L16 9JD).

Tickets are priced at £7, including lunch and refreshments, and are available to buy on Eventbrite.